YSU Women's Basketball

YSU Women's Basketball Youngstown State
Women's Basketball Digest
YSU Women's Basketball

Brown Named Coach DiGregorio MVP at Women’s Basketball Banquet
by YSU
Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013 7:22 am
Brown Named Coach DiGregorio MVP at Women’s Basketball Banquet
Youngstown State senior Brandi Brown was named the Coach Ed DiGregorio Most Valuable Player at the program's annual postseason banquet on Sunday in the Chestnut Room of YSU's Kilcawley Center.

Brown earned the MVP award for the fourth consecutive season, becoming the first player since the award's inception in 1983-84 to earn it four straight years.

Brown and her teammates celebrated a terrific season in which they went 23-10 and advanced to a postseason tournament for the first time in 13 years. Below is a sample of the many accomplishments that the program achieved in 2012-13:

- Youngstown State finished 23-10 for its best season in 15 years. The 23 wins were the most since 1997-98, and Penguins set school records with 14 wins at Beeghly Center and 11 wins in Horizon League play. YSU also had its most road wins in the last 13 years and tied the school record for non-conference victories.

- YSU earned an automatic berth in the Women's National Invitational Tournament by finishing second in the Horizon League's regular season standings. It was the Penguins' first appearance in a postseason tournament since 1999-2000. YSU beat Indiana State 63-51 in the opening round for its first postseason victory in 15 years.

- YSU played consistently well throughout the season. The Penguins won their first four games, then posted their longest winning streak since 2000 when they won six consecutive games from Jan. 24 to Feb. 14. They did not lose back-to-back games all season.

- Youngstown State was one of the most-improved teams in the country in 2012-13. The Penguins finished 75th in the final ratings percentage index (RPI), up from 257 in 2011-12. That 182-spot improvement was the best in the nation. YSU also won 13 more games than it did last season, and only three teams in the country had a greater increase in wins.

- The biggest statistical improvement for YSU came on the defensive end. The Penguins allowed 57.8 points per game this season, down from 67.5 points in 2011-12. That 9.7-point improvement was the 12th-best mark in the country. YSU hadn't allowed fewer than 63 points since 1990-91, and the 57.8 points by opponents were the fewest since 1978-79. The Penguins held opponents under 60 points 19 times in 33 games. They did that just 20 times in the previous three seasons combined.

- Brandi Brown had one of the top individual seasons in school history and received plenty of awards for her efforts. She was named the Horizon League Player of the Year, an Honorable Mention All-American by the Associated Press and a First-Team Academic All-American. She is YSU's first conference player of the year since 1999-2000, and she is the Penguins' first Honorable Mention All-American. No female in YSU history had ever been named First-Team Academic All-American.

- Brown finished the season ranking fifth in the nation in double-doubles (23) while also ranking 17th in rebounding (11.1 per game) and 18th in scoring (20.1). Only one other player in the country ranked in the top 20 in both rebounding and scoring.

Brown set YSU career records for rebounds, minutes, free throws, games played and games started.

- Brown will perhaps be remembered most for her play at Beeghly Center down the stretch of this season. She scored 33, 39 and 42 points in three consecutive home games from Feb. 21 to March 2. Against Wright State on March 2 – on a game that was labeled "Brandi Brown Appreciation Day" – she scored 42 points and grabbed 21 rebounds. It was the first 40-20 game in a contest of two Division I teams since 2007. She was named the espnW National Player of the Week on March 4.

- Shar'Rae Davis was voted onto the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team. She ranked third in the Horizon League in assists per game while also finishing 25th in scoring, 12th in free-throw percentage, 13th in steals and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio. Only one freshman in the country averaged more assists per game than Davis did.

- The Penguins continued their trend of ranking among the nation's leaders in 3-pointers made per game. The Penguins averaged 8.0 3-pointers per game, which ranked 11th in the country. Only four teams made more 3-pointers over the last two seasons than Youngstown State.

- Juniors Liz Hornberger and Monica Touvelle became the first pair of players in school history to make at least 55 3-pointers in the same season. Hornberger finished with 65, and Touvelle finished with 62. Hornberger ranked fifth in the conference in 3-pointers per game, and Touvelle was seventh.

- Bob Boldon was voted the Horizon League Coach of the Year for leading YSU's turnaround. Boldon became the Penguins' head coach after they finished 0-30 in 2009-10. He led a progressive uptick that saw YSU finished 6-24 his first year, 10-20 his second year and 23-10 this past season. YSU's last conference coach of the year was Ed DiGregorio in 1998-99 in the Mid-Continent Conference.
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